9 Best SmallPDF Alternatives in 2023
Some of the best SmallPDF alternatives you must try are Macro, DocFly, EasePDF, iLovePDF, pdfFiller, AllinPDF, Online2PDF, Foxit, and Abbyy FineReader PDF.
In this article, we discuss why these software are great SmallPDF alternatives.
Why Might You Look for a SmallPDF Alternative?
SmallPDF is a popular PDF editing tool, with an average 4.5-star rating on G2 from over 230+ users. It's an affordable, easy-to-use platform built for both beginners and experts.
So, why do you need a SmallPDF alternative? 🤔
Here are a few reasons:
Reason #1. Smallpdf’s Plans are Limiting
Smallpdf has a free plan with basic features and several limitations. As you start using SmallPDF, you will quickly realize that you can’t get much done on the free plan… You will be hit with multiple “paywalls” upon usage, asking you to subscribe to one of SmallPDF’s paid plans.
Speaking of paid plans, the first option Smallpdf offers is called Pro and costs $12/user per month.
The features that the Pro version unlocks are:
- Strong compress capabilities
- Convert scanned PDFs to Word documents
- Digital seal protection on signatures
And that’s it!
Paying $12 per user monthly for just three additional features seems expensive.
Smallpdf also has a Team plan priced at $10/user per month. You can subscribe to this plan if you're at least a team of 2. All it does is give you easy and flexible billing management and priority customer support.
And the plan starts becoming expensive as your team grows.
Other PDF editors will give you features like OCR detection, premium team collaboration features, creating and filling forms, etc.
Reason #2. Lacks Advanced Features
Even with its paid plans, Smallpdf lacks several advanced features that other PDF editors offer.
Here are some features Smallpdf lacks 👇
- Limited highlighting features for legal and HR professionals who need to annotate documents.
- Doesn't allow you to batch-process PDFs.
- Lacks PDF repair features.
- Doesn’t have optical character recognition to make PDF text searchable.
- No AI capability for error detection or drafting PDF summaries automatically.
In the later half of the article, you will see that several Smallpdf alternatives offer such features in their paid plans.
Some tools like Macro even offer such features on their free plan!
Reason #3. Doesn’t Handle Long and Complex Documents Well
SmallPDF is slow when handling large files and adds bottlenecks into the PDF editing process for users who need to work with long documents.
Additionally, Smallpdf is designed to focus on single-file tasks, making it less than ideal for batch processing of multiple large documents.
Lastly, the platform has file size limitations for uploads, which can significantly hinder users' productivity in dealing with long or image-filled documents.
9 Best SmallPDF Alternatives
Macro is an all-in-one PDF editor that combines ease of use and built-in intelligence, allowing you to draft smarter and faster.
Whether you're a college student or a Fortune 100 professional, Macro’s design is for everyone.
The software has all the major PDF editing features that SmallPDF offers and more.
- Navigate PDFs with automatic hyperlinks and multiple tabs.
- Use the merge feature to merge two or more files.
- Compare multiple document versions and get a final version in seconds by consolidating everyone’s edits.
- Convert Word documents to PDFs after editing them and vice versa.
- Comes with a legally binding redaction feature to redact any sensitive content.
- AI-powered error detection helps avoid making costly mistakes when writing or finalizing a document.
Pros and Cons
✅ The free version of Macro has PDF editing features that many tools would offer in their pain plans.
✅ Compatible with both Mac and Windows PCs.
✅ Lets you encrypt PDFs and prevent unauthorized access.
❌ Doesn’t have an online version.
Macro has a free plan where you can perform PDF edits, merge PDFs, and annotate the document. But if you want premium features like comparing multiple documents, live linking, and more, you can subscribe to our paid plans:
- Professional: $49 per month
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
DocFly is a free SmallPDF alternative that lets you create, edit, and convert PDF files online. Just upload the file to DocFly’s online platform and get straight into editing your document.
- DocFly's PDF editor lets you add and erase text, highlight text, add images, and sign documents.
- Protect your PDFs by adding, removing, or changing their passwords.
- Lets you create PDFs from scratch or images, Word files, PPTs, and many other file formats. You can also convert a PDF to a Word document and vice versa.
- Split one PDF into many or merge multiple PDFs into a single document.
Pros and Cons
✅ Has a free version that gets the job done with all the basic features needed for PDF editing. The paid version is also much cheaper than SmallPDF or other premium alternatives.
✅ Being an online tool, operating on PDFs is easy and quick.
❌ Doesn’t have a desktop version. You can access DocFly only online via Chrome, IE, Firefox, or Safari.
❌ Lacks key features like encryption and optical character recognition.
For DocFly’s premium plan, you need to pay $7.99 a month. It also has a free version but no free trial for the premium version.
EasePDF is an all-in-one online editing solution offering an array of tools to work with PDF documents. The software includes converting, editing, merging, splitting, compressing, and securing PDFs.
- Convert Word and Excel files to PDFs for free with EasePDF’s PDF convertor.
- EasePDF has 256-bit SSL Encryption that keeps your files and personal information secure.
- Annotate PDFs by underlining or highlighting, adding shapes, and using other markup tools.
- Enables you to compress PDF files without compromising on quality.
- To ensure privacy, the server automatically deletes files and links in 24 hours after conversion.
Pros and Cons
✅ EasePDF is easy to use, allowing users to access and utilize various PDF tools quickly.
✅ Being an online PDF tool, you don't need to download any dedicated software on your device.
❌ Might lack advanced features like OCR that are available in other paid PDF editing software.
Apart from the free version, EasePDF has two plans to choose from:
- Monthly: $9 per month
- Yearly: $45 per year
i❤️PDF lets you access distinct PDF-related features and has an API. The i❤️PDF REST API is a major distinguishing factor, allowing users to automate heavy document processes and scale operations.
- Drag and drop a file into the online version of the tool and get started with the PDF editing process. You can also import PDFs from Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Add signatures, set password protection, and add a watermark to your PDF to avoid any copyright infringements.
- Share edited PDFs with your team and clients via smart links or open PDFs on the phone by scanning the QR code.
- To respect your privacy, any file uploaded to the tool’s online version is deleted after 2 hours.
Pros and Cons
✅ Comes with features like watermarking, commenting and team collaboration, template management, multi-party signatures, and more.
✅ Easy-to-use platform for beginners.
✅ Cheaper than SmallPDF with great value for money.
❌ Might give you poor file quality in some specific file conversions.
❌ The free version available online has many advertisements.
i❤️PDF is free for users to access basic PDF editing features.
To access premium features like OCR and electronic signatures, you need a subscription of $7 per month (cheaper than SmallPDF).
i❤️PDF’s API has custom plans for businesses depending on usage, users, and requirements.
pdfFiller is an online PDF editor and document management solution. It has all the editing options, like text editing, converting PDFs, etc.
Like i❤️PDF, pdfFiller also offers an API solution for enterprises.
- Use text boxes to emphasize important information in your PDFs and insert text anywhere.
- Add checkmarks and dates to your PDFs in a single click.
- pdfFiller lets you print the PDF, download it in your system, or share it via text message to any US phone number.
- Add fillable fields to PDFs and fill them with any data from CRMs, spreadsheets, or databases.
- Convert a PDF file into Word, Excel, PPT, Text, PNG, and JPG files.
- Insert additional pages into a PDF document or merge multiple files into one big PDF.
Pros and Cons
✅ Comes with features like advanced annotations, commenting and notes, customizable form fields, and password protection.
✅ Cheaper than SmallPDF but has all the features you can think of.
❌ Struggles with larger files in terms of loading speeds and is sometimes unable to convert them.
❌ There is no option to compress PDFs.
pdfFiller has three plans to choose from:
- Basic: $20 per month
- Plus: $30 per month
- Premium: $40 per month
AllinPDF has 19 PDF-related tools to help you, from editing PDFs to converting a PDF to another format.
- Convert PDF to high-quality doc, PPT, txt, HTML, XPS, and more.
- Use AllinPDF’s Reader to convert any file format into PDF and read it online.
- Uploaded files and data are automatically and immediately deleted after using the service.
- All PDF conversions and edits are on the cloud, so you don't have to free up any space in your system for the tool to run operations.
- Split the PDF into one or more parts with AllinPDF's split tool. Individually choose the pages you want in each split PDF.
- Rotate individual PDF pages.
- Significantly reduce PDF size by compressing it with the platform's unique file compression and optimization technology.
Pros and Cons
✅ All the tools on AllinPDF’s website are free to use.
✅ Comes with comprehensive PDF management tools like splitting, rotating, compressing, and protecting.
❌ No offline version is available.
AllinPDF is a free-to-use tool.
Online2PDF is cloud-based software offering a wide range of PDF-related features that you can use to split, rearrange, protect PDFs, and more.
- Convert almost any file format into PDF provided the file size is less than 100 MB.
- Add multiple files to the software and convert them to PDF format simultaneously. You can also convert files from multiple formats and merge them simultaneously.
- Select ‘Searchable PDFs’ as output and convert any scanned file into a searchable PDF. The software uses optical character recognition (OCR) to carry out the process.
- Get image PDFs from normal files where the software will scan the pages, so it’s impossible to copy the text.
- Drag and drop pages of the PDF to arrange it in the order you want.
- Leverage Online2PDF tool to set different printing formats for your PDF. It has formats like bookbinding, duplex printing, and front and back paper feed.
- Add authentication protection to lock user actions like printing, copying, or editing, or create a read protection (password for opening).
Pros and Cons
✅ A versatile tool offering features that let you merge, convert, edit, and compress PDFs.
✅ Supports various file formats, including Word, PPT, Excel, Images, and XPS.
✅ Offers OCR technology for free.
❌ OCR is for a maximum of 30 pages, and non-OCR conversions are only for 150 pages.
❌ The multitude of features and options available might overwhelm some users.
Online2PDF is a free-to-use tool.
Foxit's mission is to develop market-leading and innovative PDF products that help their customers increase work productivity. They have 20+ years of market experience, 485K+ customers globally, and 700M+ users worldwide.
- Comes with a full-function PDF reader where you can open and print PDFs in several formats.
- Foxit PDF reader is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, the web, and Linux so that you can access PDFs from almost any device.
- It has integrations with leading CMS and cloud storage platforms so that you can download and store PDFs securely.
- Sign documents in your handwriting or create a digital signature with your trackpad or mouse.
- Drag and drop the PDF into Foxit converter and convert the PDF into a Word file in seconds.
- Merge multiple PDF files into one big document to gather all the information.
Pros and Cons
✅ Has tailored solutions for education, banking, legal, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors.
✅ Offers extensive editing capabilities like text reflow, adding image files, document layout modification, and more.
✅ Comes with features to protect your PDF by adding a signature and redacting text.
❌ The tool has a learning curve due to the number of features it offers.
❌ The AI-based document redaction is powerful but may require understanding and fine-tuning for large-volume documents.
For teams, Foxit has two plans to choose from:
- PDF Editor Suite: $10.75 per month
- PDF Editor Suite Pro: $13.25 per month
👀 Note: As an individual, you get various other paid plan options that you can explore on Foxit's website.
#9. Abbyy FineReader PDF
Abbyy FineReader PDF strives to increase work productivity in your digital workspace. The platform has been in the market for 20 years now and has over 10 million users.
- The recently launched AI-powered OCR technology makes it easy to digitize, retrieve, edit, protect, share, and collaborate PDFs.
- Comment your ideas, share options with your team, and make the right decision via the comment feature.
- Standardize documentation in PDF format and convert paper documents into searchable PDFs compliant with ISO specifications.
- Compare documents and identify the differences and similarities between them.
- Scan hand-written or printed documents through your phone and convert them into PDFs with FineReader’s mobile app.
Pros and Cons
✅ The software is available for Windows, macOS, and iOS.
✅ Offers features to collaborate and comment on PDFs.
✅ Has some modern features like converting PDFs into text or tables.
❌ Monthly subscription to FineReader is expensive.
❌ Beginners might have a hard time getting accustomed to the platform.
For individuals, FineReader has three plans to choose from:
- FineReader PDF Standard for Windows: $16 per month
- FineReader PDF Corporate for Windows: $24 per month
- FineReader PDF for Mac: $69 per month for a 1-year license
Read and Edit Documents Faster with Macro
The alternatives mentioned in this article are all better than SmallPDF in some distinct ways..
We suggest you try Macro first and see if you can get your work done for free. If the free capabilities don't satisfy your needs, upgrade to paid to step up your PDF editing game.